Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/975/26607

From The Socialist newspaper, 13 December 2017

Editorial of the Socialist issue 975

Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

No divorce bill to subsidise capitalist elites of Europe

For a socialist, internationalist Brexit

European Parliament, photo Thijs ter Haar (Creative Commons)

European Parliament, photo Thijs ter Haar (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

For a while it looked like Theresa May might be about to crash out of office, as her fractured, divided party, propped up in government by the DUP, seemed unable even to reach agreement on a deal on the 'first stage' of Brexit negotiations. This time, however, the crisis did not prove fatal. A deal, involving numerous concessions by May, and a lot of deliberately ambiguous wording, has been cobbled together and acceded to by the DUP, keeping the show on the road for now. This so-called victory for May's negotiating skills has solved none of the problems that May and her government face; it has only 'kicked the can down the road'.

The most important conclusion for the millions of working and middle class people in Britain is that this government remains extremely weak and can be defeated. For as long as it remains in power, however, the norm will continue to be wage restraint, a catastrophic housing crisis, and endless cuts in public services.

Raised hopes

For the majority of Britain's capitalist class, despite their horror at being represented by a party as dysfunctional as the Tories, the deal has raised their hopes. They now dare to dream that the 'soft' Brexit which would suit their interests might be achieved, despite the hard Brexiteers on the Tory right. After all, the government has acceded to the EU's demands for an exit bill of at least 36 billion, shamefacedly abandoning their previous posturing that the EU could 'go whistle'.

They have also agreed that, in the event of a 'no-deal' Brexit, there would be 'full alignment' between Northern Ireland and EU law. In reality this would only be possible in one of two ways - either a divergence between the laws of Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK, which would be unacceptable to the majority of Protestants in Northern Ireland, or remaining in the Single Market and Customs Union: that is, within the EU in all but name.

However, the welcoming of the deal by the Tory right does not mean they accept 'full alignment' by whatever means, but only that they had no choice but to agree it in order to prevent a complete collapse of the Brexit negotiations and hope, Mr Micawber-style, that something will turn up further down the road. It is likely that what will turn up will be the Tories repeatedly being forced to bang their heads against the reality that British capitalism is third rate, and that they have no choice but to make concessions to both the institutions of the EU and any of the other major powers with which they hope to negotiate favourable deals.

The nationalist 'hard Brexiteer' wing of the Tory party, which is fuelled by an utterly utopian dream of a return to Britain's past as a pre-eminent world power, offers absolutely no way forward for working class people in Britain. Brexit on their terms would undoubtedly mean job losses, economic crisis and further steps towards Britain becoming little more than a global tax haven. Nor, however, do the pro-EU capitalist politicians, who represent the interests of the major corporations, have any common interests with the majority of people in Britain.

Jeremy Corbyn should be leading the campaign against paying a penny for a divorce bill that will subsidise the capitalist elites of Europe, declaring instead that the money should be spent on the NHS, raising public sector pay and abolishing tuition fees.

Instead, the pro-capitalist Blairite wing of the Labour Party is campaigning for Labour to adopt - hook, line and sinker - the position of the capitalist class on Brexit. Jeremy Corbyn and those on the left of the party need to clearly reject this.

It is ludicrous to claim, as the Blairite Labour MP Chuka Umunna has, that the EU single market is, "uniquely, a framework of rules that protects people from the worst excesses of globalisation and unfettered capitalism." It certainly doesn't protect those fleeing war in the Middle East and largely kept outside of the borders of 'Fortress Europe'. They face the unimaginable horror of slave markets in Libya and risk drowning in the Mediterranean. But nor does it protect those already inside the EU's borders from the 'worst excesses' of capitalism. On the contrary, the institutions of the EU have inflicted terrible hardship on the workers of Greece, Spain, Portugal, Ireland and elsewhere. In Greece wages have fallen by an average of a third. In every country, including Britain, EU directives are used as a means to implement privatisation and drive down wages.

Rip up neoliberal rules

If Jeremy Corbyn were to launch a campaign for a socialist Brexit it would transform the situation. A socialist Brexit would mean ripping up the EU bosses' club neoliberal rules - not in order to create the more isolated and even more exploitative neoliberal vision of the Tory right, but to begin to build a society for the many not the few. It would mean taking socialist measures so that the enormous wealth in society could be harnessed to provide everyone with the prerequisites for a decent life: a high-quality, secure home, a good job, free education, a top class NHS, a living pension and more. Such a programme could unite working class people in Britain, regardless of how they voted in the referendum.

It would also act as a beacon for workers and young people across Europe to take the same road, opening the path to mass opposition to the EU bosses' club - and towards a democratic socialist confederation of Europe. Jeremy Corbyn should urgently use his international anti-austerity authority to help establish a new collaboration of the peoples of Europe on a socialist basis. Only this approach can cut across the confusion created by the lies of all wings of the Tory party.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 13 December 2017:


What we think

Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy


International socialist news and analysis

A world in crisis, ripe for revolution

Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907


Socialist Party news and analysis

Save our NHS

Two in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

Retail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

Uni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

Strikers rally in Liverpool

Unite day of action against blacklisting

Brighton victory

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

Teachers strike in Sheffield

Newham anti-academies strikes


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

South London health bosses' cover-up

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting


Christmas Quiz

The Socialist's 2017 quiz


 

Home   |   The Socialist 13 December 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Brexit:

triangleStand firm against the pro-capitalist politicians

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleLondon: packed public meeting discusses political crisis

triangleScotland and Brexit: Developing threat to the capitalist union

triangleSalisbury welcomes Socialist campaigners

Socialist:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Socialist change to end climate change

triangleBirmingham: Socialist Students winter conference

triangleLondon Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis

triangleBrighton Socialist Party: Tories out now!

Europe:

triangleWhat now for Brexit?

triangleEuro elections 2019 - Across Europe

triangleMay's government facing endgame

Capitalist:

triangleClimate change: what's socialism got to do with it?

triangleSouth Africa: Xenophobic violence - a product of failed capitalist policies

EU:

triangleTrade union movement must put its stamp on swirling events

Britain:

triangleThe 'national unity' threat to Corbynism

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleTories in tatters: Corbyn must seize the time

Ireland:

triangleNorthern Ireland: Campaign mounts over historic sexual abuse allegations cover-up

Northern Ireland:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Northern Ireland - 50 years since British army entered

Labour:

triangleCapitalist 'democracy' v socialist democracy

Capitalism:

triangle20 September climate action day: Strike to save the planet!

Tory party:

triangleManchester: Demo against the Tories

Tories:

triangleDitch the Tories - and austerity

Greece:

triangleGreece elections: Syriza ousted amid voter disillusionment

Dup:

triangleDodgy MP lobbied for genocidal Sri Lankan leader

Privatisation:

triangleFrimley hospital staff fight back-door privatisation

Globalisation:

triangleNew recession fear stalks the world economy

Labour Party:

triangleWorkers' movement must launch a campaign for a general election

Anti-austerity:

triangleTake the wealth off the super-rich

Economic crisis:

triangleTV: Years and Years - Engaging family drama pushes confused, reactionary message

Theresa May:

triangleTheresa May admits tuition fees system is broken - but plans new attacks on students

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

18/9/19

PCS

Building a new left in PCS

18/9/19

Climate change

Climate change: what's socialism got to do with it?

18/9/19

Workers

Stand firm against the pro-capitalist politicians

18/9/19

EU

Trade union movement must put its stamp on swirling events

18/9/19

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland: Campaign mounts over historic sexual abuse allegations cover-up

18/9/19

Students

How students can fight and win

18/9/19

Tories

Ditch the Tories - and austerity

11/9/19

Scotland

Scotland and Brexit: Developing threat to the capitalist union

11/9/19

General election

Tory meltdown - Organise to finish them off

6/9/19

Government

Tories in tatters: Corbyn must seize the time

4/9/19

Demonstration

Marches, blockades, strikes, occupations... How can protests win?

4/9/19

Socialist Party

Dozens of protests say Boris must go - Socialist Party policies heard on TV

4/9/19

Retail

What strategy can end the retail jobs massacre?

4/9/19

Wales

Austerity anger feeds movement for Welsh independence

4/9/19

Bury

Bury expelled from football league: Boot out the bosses ruining our game

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999